Carwyn Jones: We can never accept these hateful attacks as a fact of life

23rd May, 2017 1:35 pm

This is the full statement published by Carwyn Jones, Welsh first minister, on the Manchester terror attacks.

Wales stands in solidarity with the people of Manchester, and all those families who are suffering today. There is a particular cruelty at work in this act directed as it was towards teenagers coming out of a concert. It is difficult to imagine an act more appalling and more senseless.

I pay tribute to the police, the ambulance service, the NHS in Manchester and all those many others in the city who opened their doors and reached out the hand of help when help was needed. Already we have seen countless stories of bravery, generosity and solidarity which show beyond doubt that the people of Manchester, and this country, will not bow to terrorism. That hope, togetherness and unity will always beat hate, and those who seek to divide us.

Manchester is well known and well loved to very many Welsh people, especially those living in the north. It has seen terrorism before and I have no doubt about the resilience and strength of that great city.

I have written both to the prime minister and the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, expressing our outrage at the attacks and offering our solidarity with the people of Manchester.

I received a national security briefing from the Cabinet Office by phone this morning, and we will continue to monitor events as they develop. The priorities at this stage must be to give families the support they need, and allow the police the time and space required to conduct their fast-moving investigations without distraction.

We must never get used to terrorism – at home, or abroad. We can never accept these attacks as a fact of life. We should continue to call it what it is – alien, cruel and hateful. The message from this chamber is that we will not be cowed, we will not shrink into the shadows and we will not change our way of life. That is the best tribute we can offer to the people of Manchester today.

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